Grace Cathedral

Grace Cathedral

Article | October 28, 2022

Congregation Update: Anyone Can…

Blog|The Rev. Canon Anna E. Rossi


Dear Friends,

In case you missed it, “Anyone Can Sing” is the title of a 2022 British TV series featuring our former Vice Dean and Canon for Social Justice, Ellen Clark-King. Produced by SkyTV, the compelling series invited six vowed non-singers to work for three months with three celebrated singers and voice coaches to literally change their tune. The soul-bearing journey and the beautiful results uphold the claim: really, anyone can sing. (You can read about the project on The Guardian and view the official trailer on YouTube.)

Building on the theme: anyone can sing, and anyone can make music. Not just sing but sing an entirely new song. Take it from Bobby McFerrin, the 10-time Grammy-winner and genre-defying virtuoso vocalist. Over decades, he has innovated a new form of music called Circlesongs, “spontaneously composed choral pieces,” where “every voice has a place in the circle.” Even yours.

We are thrilled to announce a collaboration with Bobby McFerrin and Motion, a 4-voice ensemble that will allow the Grace Cathedral community to hear and join the circle monthly beginning Sunday, November 20, and extending into Spring 2023.

In the last months, I’ve had the opportunity to hear Circlesongs in action and remarked to Mr. McFerrin: “I think this is sort of how you pray.” “Sort of?” he chuckled and gently corrected me with a spontaneous 5-part litany of thanksgiving. Although Circlesongs has a performative dimension, it is pure prayer, the sighing too deep for words meets soaring melody and eclectic rhythm. Hear for yourself.

When Bobby McFerrin and Motion join us, they will lead Circlesongs at 10:30 am, and we’ll encourage everyone to arrive early and settle in for their vocal exploration. Bring your spirit of adventure, curiosity, trust, and joy. Let it free your voice. Let it deepen your prayer. Find your place in the circle.

With love,

The Rev. Canon Anna E. Rossi
Canon Precentor and Director of Interfaith Engagement

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